High school, university innovate together
June 18, 2012 - Universities are sometimes seen as ivory towers. But at East Carolina University, an innovative partnership with Wayne School of Engineering in Goldsboro is helping change that image.
"Working with Wayne School of Engineering is a very concrete way to break down that perceived barrier that the university operates in isolation," says Dr. Joy Phillips, associate professor of education leadership at ECU. "It's a really good way to keep faculty fresh on what it's like in the daily life of a school, especially a school that's trying so hard to do something really non-traditional."
Beginning in the fall of 2010, ECU and Wayne School of Engineering (WSE), an NCNSP-partner school, have collaborated on two projects to foster powerful teaching and learning at the school. Project HEART, funded through the AmeriCorps, connected WSE seniors as tutors to students needing assistance. And a focus on customized professional development for teachers through a project called the Learning Community has helped bring best practices into the classroom.
"Both sides have benefitted. It's a win-win relationship," WSE Principal Gary Hales says. "We're giving them a different way of looking at a very complicated model of high school and how they develop new teachers to meet the needs of today's students. Our teachers are benefitting from the content knowledge and professional development. And our students benefit from the improved instruction and the opportunities to develop leadership roles and earn scholarships."
[Photo: Students Cassidy Morris and Jonathan Best work on a bridge-building activity.]
Read more of this story on the NCNSP STEM website...